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Published on Aug 26, 2011
Sturge-Weber syndrome (SWS) is a rare medical condition characterized by a facial port wine birthmark and varying degrees of glaucoma and/or seizure disorder and often developmental disability. In the most severe form, mental retardation and blindness may occur. Sometimes half the brain needs to be removed to stop seizures. Left untreated, the birthmark will thicken causing the face to become misshapen. KT typically has a Port Wine birthmark on the body and limbs that goes deep into the tissue affecting soft muscle and bone. Throbbing pain, misshapen heavy limbs and poor circulation are the daily issues of life for these individuals. The two conditions often co-exist. Although not well known, one million individuals in the United States have a Port Wine birthmark. Approximately, 15% of these people have SWS and, to a lesser degree, KT. Until a few years ago, little was known about these conditions and what caused the vascular malformation to develop.